We just got off the phone with executive producer Stephanie Savage to ask our lingering questions about last night’s series finale of Gossip Girl. So if you are a fan, we highly recommend you read the following Q&A, which also reveals why Lily didn’t end up with Rufus, and where Vanessa is now…
“Henry Bass” was trending on Twitter. How hard was it to find a kid who looked so much like Leighton and Ed? We had a few good contenders, but Alex who played Henry, was just like if you made computer program of what Chuck and Blair’s kid would look like he would come out. We loved it.
When did you know that Chuck and Blair were endgame? I think it was a conversation up until the end of last season among all the writers. We wanted to write a season-five finale that would point us in the right direction. But for me and Josh Schwartz, we always felt that those guys were endgame for each other. Always.
Some people were upset that Lily and Rufus didn’t end up together. William is pretty much a doofus….When you think about the core of Lily’s character, she really tried to make it work with Rufus but at the end of the day, that was too hard for her. Bart Bass was a little bit too psychotic and William kind of split the difference. William is going to let her enjoy her teacup full of gin and be as much like her mother as she’s likely going to become. Rufus and Lily, that was something that was great about the Dan and Serena wedding, was that Rufus and Lily are now connected to each other forever through their children. It was important that you felt they had a very loving, warm bond and that everybody was happy.
Did you always know Gossip Girl would be Dan? Were there any other names tossed out?We never really entertained any other ideas of who Gossip Girl was. It was whether we were going to reveal it. Interestingly, in the pilot episode, the test audience thought that Dan was Gossip Girl. We actually had to re-edit one of our sequences. It’s when he’s on the computer looking at Gossip Girl, the way it was edited that he was typing as the voice was coming up, people thought that they were being told that he was Gossip Girl. So we actually had to re-edit that sequence.
Some fans have a lot of questions about why Dan did certain things…We could have made the show two hours long with just Rufus drilling Dan about all of those things. What about this time and what about that other time? Wait, you wrote this about yourself?! My hope is that people who are really curious about that can go back and rewatch the season and get their brains going.
How hard was it to keep the cameos [Lisa Loeb, Rachel Bilson, Mayor Bloomberg] a secret? We were so happy that none of them got out. With Mayor Bloomberg, were able to shoot in the city when he was available. It was all very dramatic with him coming in the back door so the paparazzi wouldn’t see him and we shot inside. Jessica [Szohr] was in town for a movie. She did her cameo on the set of Carrie Diaries and it’s Carrie Bradshaw’s ’80s kitchen she’s standing in. And Rachel Bilson and Kristen Bell shot on the set of Hart of Dixie. We didn’t send dailies out, we didn’t send out to international partners, we didn’t send the last two acts to anyone. We really tried to control spoilers.
The paparazzi got wedding photos of Chuck and Blair and Dan and Serena. Was that expected or were you disappointed that happened?The Chuck and Blair wedding, we knew as soon as we stepped outside, it would be captured by the paparazzi. But Dan and Serena, that was really disappointing and upsetting. We worked really hard to dress Blake inside, she kept away from the windows. It was a locked set. But somebody either paid someone to get into the apartment across the street, or used a fire escape and used a telephoto lens, and that really upset me because I didn’t want anyone to know. I wanted that to be a surprise for fans.
Where can we start a petition for a spinoff with Jack and Georgina? Did you consider doing a whole storyline with them earlier?Always. We always talked about them being in some ways the male and female versions of each other and perfect for each other. We love Desmond [Harrington]. We have to work around his Dexter schedule which means we only got him for one episode this season. And then we realized that Jack and Georgina had never met, and so we had the opportunity to have a fun little pilot story where it’s just slight but getting them together for the first time, which was super fun.
Did Nate end up with anyone?I think for at least our five-year flash forward, Nate is single and focused on work. And that Dan giving him the Gossip Girl exclusive is kind of what he needed to jumpstart theSpectator. And he’s been able to focus on that. Not have any business partners or distracting girlfriends and become very focused and successful.
Where’s Jenny in five years?I always loved the idea that Blair would reach out to Jenny and have her become a part of Waldorf Designs. When Jenny is running up the stairs to Dan and Serena’s wedding, she’s using a “J by Waldorf” shopping bag. So it happened.
Where do you see Vanessa?Vanessa’s doing something very successful in her own world. Maybe she’s directing an episode of season five of Carrie Diaries.
We know Serena ended up with Dan, but where is she professionally?Serena is a powerful force in the New York social scene. We saw a glimpse this year of her philanthropic powers. Her ability to raise money and get behind causes, and that’s probably what she’s doing.
Why did you use the final song of Sex and the City finale as your final finale song?It’s not the final song. It’s our penultimate song. It’s Florence and the Machine covering thatSource song. It was that moment of joy and closure and really feel like the show was ending and then start it back up again. After that song ends and we pull out of the window of our townhouse, “Kill Me” by Pretty Reckless, Taylor Momsen’s band, comes up, and we’re back out in the street with a new crop of kids and the voice of Gossip Girl is back.
Finale note: Whatever your feelings about the past few seasons of Gossip Girl, you gotta admit, the finale last night was pretty dang close to perfection. Chuck and Blair didn’t just end up together—they had TV’s most adorable son. The surprise cameos were miraculously kept secret, and squeal-worthy. And the big, show-ending reveal of Gossip Girl’s identity—one Mr. Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley)—somehow seemed to make perfect sense, allowing for one heck of a happy ending.
Slow clap to Stephanie and the entire Gossip Girl crew….We loved it. XOXO